Police step up efforts to catch Maple Batalia's killer
Police have doubled the number of investigators working on the murder of 19-year-old Maple Batalia, who was shot to death in a parking garage in Surrey, B.C. this week.
Batalia, a Simon Fraser University student and actress, was found critically wounded near the school's Surrey's campus in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
About 50 officers are now working on the investigation, according to RCMP spokesman Sgt. Peter Thiessen.
Family and friends believe the killer may be someone Batalia knew, and say she recently broke up with her boyfriend.
Thiessen says police are considering that evidence, but they aren't certain if Batalia knew her attacker.
"We're not going to get into who we may have interviewed or who we may have spoken to, but we have spoken to a variety of different individuals in regards to this, and I could maybe describe them as persons of interest," he told reporters.
Police have said there is no evidence linking the murder to drugs or organized crime.
Batalia's grieving father Harkirat was dressed in black from head to toe Wednesday as he made a plea for investigators to find the killer.
"I won't wear any other colour for the rest of my life until I get justice," he said.
The girl's parents say she was considering a career in medicine, but loved being in front of the camera. Batalia was set to compete in Surrey's Central City Model Search on Saturday; that event has been postponed indefinitely.
Makeup artist Sharan Johal says Batalia was excited about her future.
"She did recently break up with her boyfriend, but other than that, nothing else," Johal said.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Michele Brunoro